Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Understanding Child Support; FAMILY LAW

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Understanding Child Support; FAMILY LAW

Article excerpt

Byline: with PAULA PHELAN

CHILD support can be a difficult issue and can sometimes place a strain on the ongoing parenting relationship for separated parents. Understanding the process can help to ease the stress and confusion.

The Child Support Agency assesses the amount of child support payable according to a formula. The two main factors considered are the income of each parent and the care arrangements for the children.

Either party can object to the assessment of the agency.

You need to lodge an objection with the agency and provide information to support your objection. A Review Officer will then undertake an internal review, and contact both parents before deciding to vary the assessment or not.

If you are still not satisfied with the decision, there is the option to apply to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal of the court for a further review or variation of your assessment. However, the appeal grounds are limited and there are time frames that apply. You should seek legal advice about this quickly, so you have time to appeal.

If you and the other parent wish the children to attend a private school, you may be able to seek an increase in the amount of child support you receive to cover a share of the school fees. Alternatively, if you are paying the school fees as well as the assessed child support, you may be able to have these fees taken into account in the agency's assessment.

Parents can reach agreement themselves about the appropriate amount of child support.

They can choose to enter into an agreement about this. There are legal requirements that need to be satisfied when entering into a Child Support Agreement, so you should seek legal advice about your specific situation before deciding about what to do.

Child support can have the effect of igniting issues between separated parents. …

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